Why help target Canadian dairy farmers?

July 30th, 2018

No doubt Martha Hall Findlay would get the approval of President Trump for her targeting of dairy farmers and supply management.

Instead of pretending hard working dairy farmers are somehow rolling in millions, she could spend some time on a Canadian dairy farm. She would realize that a dairy farm is a complex operation which requires significant and ongoing investment to maintain – most of which is borrowed. In order to see some of the cash-value of their assets, farmers would need to sell their farms and get out of the business altogether, without providing a chance to the next generation. How is that sustainable?

Every farm is a small business, but what ties all dairy farmers together is their love of farming, for their animals and for the land. The dairy sector contributes $20B to Canada’s GDP and about 221,000 full-time jobs, across the country.

Despite fear-mongering from some, the vast majority of Canadians, 92% in fact, are happy with the range and quality of dairy products available in Canada, and two thirds are satisfied with prices. Canadians get a good deal for fresh milk, as they pay around $1.50 a litre. Compare that to $1.83 in New Zealand, $1.57 in Australia, $1.77 in France and $2.58 a litre in China, according to Nielsen.

While we can debate retail prices, let’s not forget that the United States dairy sector is heavily subsidized, which means that American consumers pay twice for their dairy products: once at the store, and again through their taxes.

The Canadian model allows Canadian dairy farmers to earn an honest living while providing Canadian families with affordable, quality local milk and dairy products. It’s a system we can all be proud of.

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